I'm heartsick. Joe Bageant, author of the superlative nonfiction title Deer Hunting with Jesus: Dispatches from America's Class War,* has died.**
Give yourself a treat and read one of the essays from his web site, titled America: Y UR PEEPS B SO DUM?
It's long, so don't read it all in one go. And if you don't have time to read any of it, consider reading my favorite bit, quoted below:
"Cultural ignorance of one sort or another is sustained and nurtured in all societies to some degree, because the majority gains material benefit from maintaining it. Americans, for example, reap huge on-the-ground benefits from cultural ignorance -- especially the middle class Babbitry -- from cultural ignorance generated by American hyper-capitalism in the form of junk affluence.
Purposeful ignorance allows us to enjoy cheaper commodities produced through slave labor, both foreign, and increasingly, domestic, and yet 'thank god for his bounty' in the nation's churches without a trace of guilt or irony. It allows strong arm theft of weaker nations' resources and goods, to say nothing of the destructiveness of late stage capitalism -- using up exhausting every planetary resource that sustains human life."
*Evidently he has a new memoir out, titled Rainbow Pie: a Memoir of Redneck America. I must have it.
**Thanks to editor Cindy Orr at the Reader's Advisor Online blog for posting this news.